Marketing Meetup Recap: Open Conversation

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The Thursday, November 5, Marketing Meetup hosted by the American Booksellers Association featured an open conversation for booksellers to participate in. Discussion topics included marketing strategies that worked, favorite sessions from the year, and more.

A recording of this meetup, and all other meetups held this year, can be viewed on the Education Resources page on

Here’s a list of some of the strategies that worked for booksellers this year, as well as some strategies booksellers plan to try:

  • Schuler Bookstore in Grand Rapids, Michigan, promoted the wishlist function on its IndieCommerce site, which was very successful as a tool for teachers.
  • Seminary Co-op in Chicago, Illinois, tried a digital version of the store’s holiday guide, with an aim to replicate the in-store browsing experience, and was met with a positive community response.
  • Titcomb’s Bookshop in East Sandwich, Massachusetts, made a personal shopping form that helped gauge customer needs and is making changes to its shipping policies: in addition to a base flat rate, the store will increase shipping by each book added to the order. The store is also sending the Shelf Awareness pre-order email to customers, which has been successful.
  • Instead of hosting regular book release events, Book No Further in Roanoke, Virginia, has hosted workshops with local authors. The ticket includes the price of the book, and the events are popular. This year, the store also plans to use the abandoned cart email function on its IndieCommerce site.
  • Broadway Books in Portland, Oregon, made inexpensive book bags with ARCs, stickers, pins, and other small items for customers who purchase a certain amount in-store. The store has also seen success using the Shelf Awareness pre-order newsletter, and recommends customizing the newsletter to feature the titles that will appeal to its customers.
  • Waucoma Bookstore in Hood River, Oregon, is using Edelweiss 360 emails to promote new releases. Co-owner Jenny Cohen noted she can order books and make collections while setting up an email for customers. This helps hand-sell books through email.
  • The Sly Fox in Virden, Illinois, did a promotional mailing in July for Stephenie Meyer’s Midnight Sun and Rowley Jefferson's Awesome Friendly Adventure called “Awesome Vampires at Midnight.” Each purchaser received a gift certificate good until the end of the year, and the store has seen those gift cards being used.

Here is a list of some of the sessions booksellers mentioned as most helpful this year: